Image for Blueberry (spp.)
Blueberry (Vaccinium spp.)

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • 3,4-Caffeoylquinic (chlorogenic) acid, anthocyanins (cyanidin-3-O-beta-arabinose, cyanidin-3-O-beta-galactoside, cyanidin-3-O-beta-glucoside, delphinidin-3-O-beta galactoside, malvidin-3-O-beta-arabinose, malvidin-3-O-beta-galactoside, malvidin-3-O-beta-glucoside, and peonidin-3-O-beta-arabinose), Blue Ridge blueberry, bluecrop, blueray, Brightblue, Brightwell, Canadian blueberry, Cape Fear, carotenoids (zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, lutein, and cryptoxanthin), Caucasian blueberry, Chai Cherniki, chlorogenic acid, cinnamic acids, cultivated blueberry, cyanidin, cyanidin-3-rutinoside, Cyanococcus, delphinidin-3-arabinoside, delphinidin-3-galactoside, delphinidin-3-glucoside, diabetic tea, ellagic acid, flavan-3-ol monomer (+)-catechin, flavan-3-ol monomer (-)-epicatechin, Friendship, Gulf Coast blueberry, half-high, highbush blueberry, high-bush blueberry, iron, Jersey blueberry, lowbush blueberry, low-bush blueberry, malvidin-3-arabinoside, methoxyl pectin, myricetin-3-arabinoside, myrtillin, Northblue, northern highbush, Northland, O'Neal, ortho-benzoyloxyphenyl acetic acid ester, patriot blueberry, peonidin, phenolics (anthocyanins, flavonols, flavanols, ellagitannins, gallotannins, proanthocyanidins, and phenolic acids), phenylalanine ammonia-lyase, petunidin-3-galactoside, petunidin-3-glucoside, piceatannol, Polaris, Powderblue, proanthocyanidins, procyanidin, pterostilbene, quercetin-3-arabinoside, quercetin-3-glucoside, rabbit-eye blueberry, raisin-type lowbush blueberry, resveratrol, southern highbush, Star, stilbenes, Tifblue, Top Hat, triterpenoids (ursolic acid and its esters), V. angustifolium, V. angustifolium Ait., V. boreale, V. caesariense, V. corymbosum, V. darrowii, V. elliottii, V. formosum, V. fuscatum, V. hirsutum, V. koreanum, V. myrsinite, V. myrtilloides, V. pallidum, V. simulatum, V. tenellum, V. virgatum, vaccihein A, Vaccinium, Vaccinium arctostaphylos, Vaccinium ashei, velvet leaf blueberry, wild blueberry.
  • Note: The family Ericaceae contains the genus Vaccinium, composed of several species of blueberries along with cranberries, huckleberries, bilberries and deerberries. Blueberries are in a Vaccinium section called Cyanococcus.
  • Selected combination products: Blueberin™ (blueberry extract, chlorogenic acid, myristic acid), BlueBerry, Maxim01 Solutions®, OptiBerry®, Radical Fruits®, TrueBlue®, Evelle.

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Blueberries are native to North America but are now grown around the world. Specific nutrients of the berries vary by locale and season (1).
  • Blueberries have high levels of anthocyanins and thus high antioxidant potential (2). Anthocyanins are the pigments many plants produce in order to attract the birds and insects necessary for the dispersion of their seeds and pollination.
  • Lowbush (wild) blueberries have higher levels of anthocyanins, total phenolics, and antioxidant capacity than highbush varieties; lowbush blueberries, for example, have about twice as many different individual anthocyanins as highbush blueberries, and the latter contain about four times as many as most fruits (3). The anthocyanins are thought to be absorbed into many tissues and even pass through the blood-brain barrier (4).
  • Blueberries have been shown to have antioxidant properties, and preliminary animal and in vitro studies suggest that they may also provide anti-inflammatory effects, help manage diabetes, and help maintain the health of the brain, particularly the hippocampus and memory systems. At this time, however, there is a lack of human evidence in support of any clinical use of blueberries. Further research is required.

Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.